pic: Brighton i360 visualisation (F10 Studios)
Councillors today (6th March) agreed to facilitate a government loan to the i360 tower project, meaning it could be open as soon as summer 2016. The council is supporting borrowing from the government’s Public Works Loans Board, which lends to profit-making infrastructure projects across the country. The funding isn’t coming from the council purse, and can’t be used for anything else.
Under terms brokered by the council’s Green administration the i360 viewing tower will directly create 75 locally hired jobs all on or above the living wage and with no zero hours contracts. The project could bring in over £25m to the Brighton & Hove economy.
Councillor Jason Kitcat, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council said:
“I’m delighted we’ve brokered an agreement for an exciting job-creating tourist attraction for the city without calling on local budgets – as well as ensuring there are safeguards for workers’ pay and the tower being powered by green energy.
“Brighton & Hove needs to keep reinventing itself to continue our upwards trend in visitor numbers, and avoid the decline other seaside towns have suffered. This tower is our best opportunity to expand our tourist industry and regenerate our seafront.
“The project will provide a new source of income to help shore up vital frontline services, as well as give a run-down area a much-needed facelift.”
“The project is supported by businesses, residents and the trade unions. This is a unique opportunity to support a world class landmark for our city, and all being well, we look forward to seeing construction beginning in the next few months.”
The papers can be viewed online here: http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=689&MId=5195
- Up to £25m into the local economy from up to 305,000 more visitors to the city a year
- Almost £1m a year over 25 years from the council’s margin of interest on the loan, and £60,000 a year in business rates
- £1.1m in arrangement fees over the period to 2016, and a one-off £70,000 in Section 106 planning contributions
- 1% of ticket revenues to be ringfenced for the local community for perpetuity
- Regeneration of the seafront around the West Pier and a significant increase in footfall for businesses in and around Preston Street
- Discounts for local residents on tickets outside of the peak season
- A free ticket for every school child in the city, and tickets available for community groups
- A percentage of revenues to the West Pier Trust to support heritage works
For more information please contact the Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.